Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: drworm01 Date: Jan 26, 2014 2:04pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Films From Year X Automatically Not PD?

I know everything (minus a few exceptions) before 1923 is public domain, but is there a year where everything is automatically under copyright? The Copyright Act of 1976 made everything released automatically copyrighted from the moment of its creation/publication, but I'm not sure when that went into effect. Also, would it mean that everything post year-X may not be posted to the Archive?
I ask because I'm going through those budget 50-Movie Packs for content to upload and the movies are transitioning into late-70's/early 80's exploitation and direct-to-video fare. If I understand the 1976 Act correctly, they can't possibly be PD. However, I do see some of them pop up on the Archive and other public domain repositories.
For example, Drive-In Massacre, a 1977 thriller. It's listed by Desert Island Films (incorrectly labeling it 1974) and there's no registration or renewal notice on However, the movie does have a properly-formatted copyright notice during the opening credits for 1976. Rather than asking if it's public domain, I'm asking if it's possible for this film to currently be in the public domain?
Thanks for your time,

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: skybandit Date: Jan 27, 2014 5:53pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Films From Year X Automatically Not PD?

Many films that were produced by fly-by-night companies no longer have anyone on the payroll to complain about their being used by others. While still under copyright, these "orphans" are illegally distributed by many companies because they can make a profit without danger of reprisal. It's evidently the policy of AI to avoid them, as it's better to be safe than sorry.